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Made from Solar Concentrate

Bathing the Earth with enough energy in one hour to meet human needs for an entire year, the sun represents the ultimate source of clean, green sustainable energy.

A team of scientists with Berkeley Lab and the University of Illinois created solar cells that collect higher energy photons at 30 times the concentration of conventional solar cells, the highest luminescent concentration factor ever recorded.

Gaming Computers Offer Huge, Untapped Energy Savings Potential

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In the first study of its kind, Berkeley Lab researcher Evan Mills co-authored an investigation of the aggregate global energy use of personal computers designed for gaming—including taking direct measurements using industry benchmarking tools—and found that gamers can achieve energy savings of more than 75 percent by changing some settings and swapping out some components, while also improving reliability and performance. This corresponds to a potential estimated savings of $18 billion per year globally by 2020, or 120 terawatt hours (TWh).

Soaking Up Carbon Dioxide and Turning it into Valuable Products

Structural model showing a covalent organic framework (COF)  embedded with a cobalt porphyrin.

Berkeley Lab researchers have incorporated molecules of porphyrin CO2 catalysts into the sponge-like crystals of covalent organic frameworks (COFs) to create a molecular system that not only absorbs CO2, but also selectively reduces it to CO, a primary building block for a wide range of chemical products.

Another Milestone in Hybrid Artificial Photosynthesis

Peidong Yang CJC Bioinorganic Solar to Chemical Text

Berkeley Lab researchers using a bioinorganic hybrid approach to artificial photosynthesis have combined semiconducting nanowires with select microbes to create a system that produces renewable molecular hydrogen and uses it to synthesize carbon dioxide into methane, the primary constituent of natural gas.

At the American Chemical Society Meeting in Boston: Berkeley Lab’s Paul Alivisatos and Noah Bronstein Discuss Nanoparticles and Solar Energy Applications

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At the ACS Meeting in Boston, Berkeley Lab Director Paul Alivisatos discussed quantum dots and next generation luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs).

At the American Chemical Society Meeting in Boston: Berkeley Lab’s Omar Yaghi Discusses Capturing Carbon in the Presence of Water with MOFs and COFs

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At the ACS Meeting in Boston, Berkeley Lab’s Omar Yaghi described the design of IRMOF-74-III compounds that can selectively capture carbon dioxide in the presence of water.

Unlocking the Rice Immune System

Rice is a staple for half the world’s population and the model plant for grass-type biofuel feedstocks (Photo courtesy of IRRI)

JBEI, UC Davis and Berkeley Lab researchers have identified a bacterial signaling molecule that triggers an immunity response in rice plants, enabling the plants to resist a devastating blight disease. Rice is not only a staple food, it is the model for grass-type advanced biofuels.

Orange is the New Red

Corie Ralston and Cheryl Kerfield feature image

Berkeley Lab researchers discovered that a photoprotective mechanism in cyanobacteria is triggered by an unprecedented, large-scale movement from one location to another of the carotenoid pigment within the Orange Carotenoid Protein.

Opening a New Route to Photonics

In this adiabatic elimination scheme, the movement of light through two outer waveguides is controlled via a “dark” middle waveguide that does not accumulate any light. (Image by Zhosia Rostomian)

Berkeley scientists have developed a technique for effectively controlling pulses of light in closely packed nanoscale waveguides, an essential requirement for ultrahigh density, ultracompact integrated photonic circuitry.

A New Look at Surface Chemistry

Jim Ciston feature image

A multi-institutional team of researchers, including scientists from Berkeley Lab, have used a new scanning electron microscopy technique to resolve the unique atomic structure at the surface of a material. This new technique holds promise for the study of catalysis, corrosion and other critical chemical reactions.